Venison Backstrap with Caramelized Onions for Opening Day of Bowhunting Season for Deer and Black Bear

Photo credit: Luke Lanphar.

October 1st is opening day of early bow hunting season for deer and black bear in the Southern Zone of New York State, which encompasses the Finger Lakes.  Early bow season will run from October 1st through November 15th – until the start of regular firearms deer season.  For black bear, check which Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) you are in on the DEC website, as there is no black bear season in WMU 7H and other WMUs to the north of there.

Additionally, all bow hunting equipment must comply with DEC regulations, and crossbows are not legal in New York State this season.  Hunting hours are from sunrise until sunset, and arrows must not have barbs on them.  Don’t forget to buy your hunting license, wear your back tag number, tag your animal, and report your harvest after a successful hunt! More information on rules and regulations can be found on the DEC’s website.  Happy hunting!

Venison Backstrap with Caramelized Onions

1-2 pounds venison backstrap
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium vidalia or yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional)
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
dash of cayenne pepper
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper

Rinse venison and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Add balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Rub into meat and let marinate for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Pan fry venison, turning to brown, until medium rare, about four minutes total for a two-inch thick backstrap. Remove from heat and tent with foil (it will cook a bit more under the foil).

Turn down heat to medium and add remaining olive oil to pan. Add onions, garlic and rosemary, dash of cayenne pepper and other desired herbs. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Toss and cook until onions brown and are slightly caramelized, about two to five minutes. Remove from heat. Slice venison at an angle and serve with onion and garlic mixture.  Serves about 4.

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